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Louis Fourestier (1892 - 1976)

Fourestier initially studied cello and harmony at the Montpellier Conservatory before entering the Paris Conservatoire, where he was a pupil of, amongst others, Guilmant, d’Indy and Dukas. Here he won the first prize for harmony in 1911, for counterpoint in the following year and in 1925 he secured the Prix de Rome for a work entitled La Mort d’Adonis. He made his debut as a conductor in the French provinces, appearing at Marseilles and Bordeaux, before being appointed as conductor at the Opéra-Comique, Paris, where he was active from 1927 to 1932. In addition, Fourestier was one of the conductors of the Paris Symphony Orchestra, formed in 1928, appearing together with Ernest Ansermet, Pierre Monteux and Alfred Cortot. After leaving the Opéra-Comique Fourestier led the musical seasons at Angers, Vichy and Cannes, but returned to Paris and to the operatic world as a conductor at the Paris Opera, working there from 1938 to 1945. During the 1946–1947 and 1947–1948 seasons, Fourestier appeared as a conductor of the French repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, leading performances of Carmen, Louise, Manon and Faust in succession to Sir Thomas Beecham; two historians of the Metropolitan, Irving Kolodin and Paul Jackson, while acknowledging that he was a seasoned conductor of the music of his native country, have suggested that his readings tended to the routine. In 1945 Fourestier took over responsibility for the conducting class at the Paris Conservatoire from Charles Munch




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